Women in Law 2023



A gelo Reppas has maintained an exclusively appellate practice for over twenty years, appearing in courts nationwide— including ten federal courts of appeal and seven state supreme courts. Bringing a fresh perspective to each case, Agelo hones in on the crux of the dispute by critically reviewing the record and identifying the strongest issues. An innovative advocate, Agelo excels at crafting persuasive prose, translating complex concepts into easily understood arguments that highlight the equities of a client’s position. For example, Agelo obtained reversal of a judgment declaring an insurer owed a duty to defend its insured in a protracted dispute, then succeeded in recouping more than $13,000,000 the insurer had paid pursuant to that erroneous judgment. Understanding that preparation for appeal begins at the outset, Agelo also partners with trial teams in high-stakes litigation. As embedded appellate counsel, Agelo helps guide trial strategy to posture the case for the best possible outcome on appeal—whether that is defending a favorable judgment, challenging an unfavorable judgment or leveraging a settlement. Agelo has earned a reputation as an invaluable asset to the trial team by bringing expertise and ingenuity to the issues surrounding interlocutory appeals, jury instruction conferences, evidentiary disputes and post-trial motions. Agelo has been at the forefront of numerous vital insurance decisions. Last year, she secured an important victory before the New York Appellate Division, Third Department, which unanimously upheld a judgment finding that two AIG insurers owe no coverage

in connection with PFAS environmental contamination claims. The decision was a significant win for not only Agelo’s client—who was facing potentially enormous outside-of-limits defense expenses in connection with the underlying actions—but for the insurance industry as a whole, as it was the first published decision finding that PFAS chemicals in particular qualify as irritants, contaminants or pollutants within the meaning of a pollution exclusion. She was also instrumental in helping BatesCarey set Illinois precedent for the insurance industry with the Illinois Supreme Court’s ruling that insurance coverage for malicious prosecution claims is triggered only at the time of the wrongful charging, and not in subsequent years of retrials or exoneration. In this case, the Illinois Supreme Court became one of the first state high courts to rule that the term “offense” in the context of an occurrence-based policy indicates that coverage is triggered during the period in which the offensive conduct was committed. Agelo is also one of the founders of the firm’s annual event, Tea Talk: Women Empowering Women, where inspiring women across a variety of sectors gather to network and discuss important insurance trends. This program demonstrates Agelo’s commitment to creating a supportive group for women to network and thrive. Outside the firm, Agelo has presented at numerous ABA and CBA committee meetings on topics including federal appeals of novel insurance coverage issues, further solidifying her position as a skilled attorney in the industry.



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